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intention tremor?
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intention tremor?


I am currently trying to figure out whats wrong with me and wondered if someone can tell me if this is classed as an intention tremor-

When i hold an item (pen etc) still infront of me i can see it shaking slightly. If i am cooking and using knives etc/or actually writing or quickly reaching for something (as opposed to holding the item still infront of me) I cannot feel/see the tremor- only if i concentrate. (hope this makes sense). It feels like it is caused by a weakness in my upper arms, I have had borderline thyroid levels (although i cant remember which way they were border line) and am getting a full set of bloods done tomorrow. obviously I am scared that I have MS. The hand shakes are presenting with muscle weakness in my upper arms and thigh area.

If anyone can tell me if that shake sounds like an MS shake?

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Avatar f tn
i should mention really it appears to be my fingers rather than my hands, its when i hold objects between my fingers...
987762 tn?1331031553
Hi Clareyh,

Tremors can be caused by many things, age, anxiety, your drug side effects etc. Hypothyroid issues can also cause the type of tremor your describing but the intention tremor is named because when you intend to do something with that limb instead of the smooth natural action, you over reach and the limb tremors.

eg. your brushing your teeth and without warning your hand/arm jerks and half shoves the toothbrush down your throat, it wasnt what you intended to do.

eg. your typing and then your fingers start hitting the wrong keys because your hand/arm(s) are over reaching, jerking away through the tremor, your intented action was abruptly interupted by the tremor.

So what you are describing doesnt sound like intention tremors to me, i do have a few tremor issues, at the moment things are calming down but the essential tremors are more noticable if i have something in my fingers, which then seems to exadurate the tremor more, that could be worth checking out.

338416 tn?1420049302
Sounds like an action tremor, actually - when you hold your hand out, it shakes, right?  But when you have it at your side, or relaxed, there's no shake.
751951 tn?1406636463
Hmmm.  I have something that is somewhat similar.  I just finished a pizza.  After taking a bite, the hand that holds the slice can sometimes oscillate at maybe 4 Hz.  Usually, this is a forearm rotation.  My head also does something in that frequency range, but it has a couple of modes.  In one, it tilts left and right, and it can seem as if the motion is originating as low as my waist, even involving lower back muscles.  The type of chair I'm in can seem to affect how low on the body the shaking travels.  In the other mode, the head simply shakes like a "no" headshake, turning on the neck left and right.  Both of these movements happen when I am seated.  I don't think I've noticed them while standing, but I have while lying down.
147426 tn?1317269232
Everybody is correct.  The term "intention tremor" has pretty much been replaced by the term "action tremor".  It is caused when muscles are called on to act, move, with the "intention" to do something.  The opposite is just what jen said and is called a "resting tremor" as JJ said.  Resting tremors appear when the muscles are at rest and not holding any additional contraction.

From my reading, essential tremors are benign - they are not caused by a disease.

The tremors seen in MS are action tremors, ones that appear when we try to do something, even if that something is to hold an object still.

Clareyh - what you describe sounds to me like an action tremor.  You see the trembling when you try to do something like reach or hold a pen still.  Holding something still is an action, not because of movement, but because the muscles are contracting to grasp the pen.

Muscles that are weakened and tremble when they are used show weakness are not a true tremor.  A weak muscle trembles because it cannot hold a sustained contraction.

A tremor is a possible symptoms of the onset of MS, but more common would be the muscle weakness.  These alone do not scream "MS".  There are too many causes as discussed above by JJ.  See your doctor and do not borrow a fear of MS until there is a little more evaluation.

Tremors (aside from "essential") are a type of movement disorder.  My favorite site for the clear discussion of all movement disorders is on the WE MOVE site:

233622 tn?1279338505
Thank you for that explanation Quix.  When I try to move my feet side to side they tremor. But are fine when I am still.  Sometimes happen in my hands depending on the day. Now I know why.
My PT  said it was MS related but did not explain it as well as you just did.

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